Tensions with China don’t keep oil prices from rising


Despite increased tensions with China over the U.S. action ordering the shutdown of a Chinese consulate in Houston and China responding with an order of its own against the U.S., oil prices rose slightly higher on Friday.

West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added 22 cents or 0.5% and settled Friday at $41.29 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. This, after declining 2% on Thursday.

September Brent crude rose only 3 cents or 0.07% to reach $43.34 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe after skidding 2.2% in Thursday’s trading.

“The heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China has failed to have a big impact on the energy market,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. “China is the largest importer of oil in the world, so should any economic disruption come from the political spat, we could see oil slide.”

Still, it is “worth noting that oil hit a four month high during the week, so the wider trend is still positive,” he said in a market update according to MarketWatch.

Traders also continued to eye the impact of rising cases of COVID-19 in parts of the world, which could lead to business disruptions and a slowdown in economic recovery.

“New COVID cases and the growing cold war between the U.S. and China” put some pressure on oil, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. However, it seems that parts of global economy are recovering, “as economic data is blowing out to the upside.”

In China, “refinery runs in July most likely hit record highs as companies lift average run rates to 84% of capacity,” said Flynn. S&P Global Platts reported that crude throughput at China’s domestic refineries rose 9% year on year to hit an all-time high of 14.14 million barrels per day in June, citing data from the General Administration of Customs.

Stocks of Oklahoma interest were mostly down in Friday’s trading. Devon Energy dropped 18 cents or 1.65% to settle at $10.70 a share while SandRidge Energy picked up a penny to finish at $1.36.

NGL Energy Partners added 17 cents or 3.74% to end the day at $4.71 a share. ConocoPhillips slipped 18 cents or 0.33% and wrapped up Friday’s trading at $40.28.

EOG Resources tacked on 19 cents to finish the day at $49.04. Kinder Morgan fell 24 cents or 1.66% to settle at $14.25. Marathon Oil slipped 4 cents or 0.70% and finished at $5.72 while Noble Energy dropped 6 cents or 0.55% to end the day at $10.89 per share.

ONEOK dropped 24 cents or 0.83% and finished at $28.72 while Phillips 66 fell 12 cents and ended at $65.06.

Oklahoma City-based Mammoth Energy finished Friday up 7 cents for a 6.36% gain and settled at $1.17 a share. Just two days earlier, the company’s shares dropped 3.5%.

On the Utility Sector, American Electric Power declined 66 cents or 0.75% to settle at $88.05 while Entergy dropped 1.31% or $1.36 a share to finish the day at $102.66.



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